March 18, 2006
Columbia, Mo. -
The University of Missouri football team held the first scrimmage of its 2006 spring camp this morning at chilly Faurot Field. With temperatures hovering in the 40s, and a slight breeze adding to the chill on a mostly overcast morning, the Tigers went through nearly two-and-a-half hours of scrimmaging. Both sides of the ball had stand-out play throughout the scrimmage, and the offense-versus-defense scoring system had the scrimmage end in a 44-all deadlock.
Numerous big plays were turned in by players on both sides of the ball, with the offense scoring four touchdowns on the day, while the defense scored once on its own and collected eight turnovers in all.
All three quarterbacks had success, as Chase Daniel, Brandon Coleman and Chase Patton all led scoring drives. Daniel was particularly impressive on a 65-yard drive he led against the No. 1 defense early in the scrimmage. Daniel connected with WR Brad Ekwerekwu for 20 yards on the drive, and hit TE Chase Coffman for 15 more yards on a nice delay route on the next play. TB Marcus Woods also had a big 12-yard run on a sweep that set the offense up in the red zone. Woods later finished the drive off with a 5-yard TD run for the first offensive score of the day.
Chase Patton directed two scores on the day, as he hit a diving Coffman on a fade route in the corner of the end zone for a 3-yard TD pass. Patton later connected with WR Greg Bracey on a 25-yard TD pass, as Bracey caught a purposely underthrown ball inside the 5-yardline, and bulled his way into the endzone for the score.
Brandon Coleman had some big plays of his own, as he scored on a 4-yard run on a keeper midway through the scrimmage to cap a drive. Earlier, Coleman had nice passes to Coffman (for 20 yards and a 1st down) and to WR Brandon Rooks (for 30 yards on a seam route over the middle).
The defense certainly made its presence felt early and often. The tone was set right away by DE Xzavie Jackson, when on the first possession of the scrimmage, he scooped up a fumble over the middle after TE Martin Rucker was separated from the ball, and raced untouched 15 yards for a TD. Soon thereafter, DB Travis Cardoza picked off a pass near midfield that was deflected at the line of scrimmage. Moments later, DB Alex Woodley made possibly the hit of the day when he leveled TB Austin Huff for a big tackle for loss on an attempted swing pass. Jackson later ended the scrimmage with a highlight-reel interception of an attempted screen pass that he snagged with one hand and pulled it in for the pick.
Other big plays turned in by the defense included interceptions by LB Van Alexander, DB Trenile Washington, DB Erik Rudin (plus a 35-yard return) and LB Steve Redmond (who returned his around 25 yards). Midway through the scrimmage, DL Ziggy Hood forced a fumble that was recovered by DE Josh Barbo.
PK Adam Crossett made a 45-yard field goal, while PK Jeff Wolfert made the longest kick of the day when he connected on a 48-yarder at one point. Wolfert also was good on a 27-yard try, as was fellow PK Trace Teas.
Woods had a standout performance overall on the day, as he added a run of 25 yards on a delay to his earlier score. He also had a strong 10-yard run on 4th-and-2 where he spun out of a tackle and gained 8 of his yards in traffic after the initial contact. Other standout plays on offense included Daniel and WR Jason Ray connecting for a 33-yard gain, Daniel and Bracey hooking up for a gain of around 25 yards, and Daniel keeping around end for a run of 20 yards. Patton and WR Adam Casey connected on a 10-yard gain on a 3rd-and-10 play late in the scrimmage, as Casey made a tough sliding catch.
Several former Tiger players were in attendance watching their former teammates. Patrolling the sidelines included Arnold Britt, Elgin Childress, Terrance Curry, Orlando "Doc" Gooden, A.J. Kincade, C.J. Mosley, Scott Sells, Brad Smith and Scott Wheatley.
The Tigers are off for a few days, before resuming spring drills with an afternoon practice on March 21st.